TROUTDALE, Ore. (KOIN) — On any given night, the Veterans Administration estimates there are more than 55,000 homeless veterans living and sleeping on the streets. There are more than 600 homeless vets in Multnomah County.
That is why Saturday’s Veterans Stand Down event hosted by the Salvation Army is so crucial.
“They can get out of the rain, get a hot meal, get a haircut, get some dental services, get hooked up with the VA, get a flu shot,” said Kim Pettina with the Salvation Army. “This is a ‘one stop’ where they can come in and get a meal and resources.”
Richard McLaughlin was one of the more than a hundred homeless vets at the event. He said he’s grateful to have his basic needs met.
“When your’e disabled and you’re not supposed to work because you are unemployable, what are you going to do?”
Tim served in the Marine Corps for four years. He is now homeless and walked 12 miles to get to the event.
“It’s a scary thing, you wake up every morning and not have a clue how you’re going to get anywhere.”
All of the services provided at the event were free. Organizers like Pettina said it’s the least we can do.
“We didn’t do a really good job when they came back showing them what is available to them, and helping them reintegrate back into society.”
In addition to Saturday’s one day event, volunteers and employees of the Salvation Army are also helping vets look for long term housing.